According to a recent news article from NJ.com, the aids employed at nursing homes were placed under arrest for allegedly abusing patients. The charges are based on complaints at the various nursing homes at which they were employed. Authorities filed and announced these charges on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, as these arrests were part of an ongoing effort to fight this alarming trend.
Authorities said that they are using these arrests, and the time of them, to put everyone on notice that they are prepared to do whatever they can to fight elder abuse in their state. With respect to the actual charges, one defendant is accused of striking an 87-year-old woman who has dementia in the head and arm as staff and other patients looked on. She was charged with criminal assault of an elderly or institutionalized person.Another aid arrested is alleged to have punched a man in a wheelchair and threatened to break his neck. He was arrested on felony threats charges. As for the third defendant, she was allegedly captured on a surveillance camera kicking the wheelchair of an elderly woman, causing that woman to fall to the ground.
It should be noted that despite the seriousness of these allegations, none of these three defendants has been convicted of any offense for which they were recently charged. Therefore, all three defendants are innocent unless and until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law by a judge or jury.
As our Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse attorneys can explain, while these allegations may seem extreme, this type of thing happens all the time in nursing homes across the country, including ones in South Florida. There are a variety of reasons this occurs, but it basically comes down to employees who have no business caring for elderly residents working in nursing homes.
As far as a nursing home negligence case goes, the problem is particularly worse when it is clear, or should be clear, to nursing home management that these people posed a serious risk to residents. While criminal charges can be filed against the individual employees, a negligence lawsuit can often be filed against the employees, and more importantly, against the nursing home operators.
One common claim filed in South Florida nursing home cases is negligent hire or retention of an employee. If a manager hires an employee that clearly should not have been hired, this can be the basis for a negligence claim. There can also be a complaint for the intentional tort of assault and battery. This claim is filed against the employee and then imputed to the employer though a doctrine of law known as a respondeat superior or the master servant theory. This basically means that an employer is liable for the conduct of his or her employee, so long as the injury was caused during the ordinary course of employment of the employee. Essentially, if a nursing home employee was on the clock at the time the injury, this should be enough to substantiate such a claim
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.
3 nursing home aides indicted over patient abuse claims, June 15, 2017, By S.P. Sullivan, NJ.Com
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Concussions, Brain Injuries From Falls in Nursing Homes Occurring at “Unprecedented” Rates, April 25, 2017, Nursing Home Fall Attorney Blog